Friday, 30 March 2012

old recipes: oxtail stew part one

A few months ago we were invited to some French friends for dinner who made us a fantastic coq au vin with a real cock (apparently), this started a lively debate on old fashioned recipes that our grannies used to make. I had two months to think about how to retaliate and came up with the idea of oxtail stew.

Last night my mam poured through all her cook books and spent a good part of the evening with me on the phone detailing the various recipes of Darina Allen, Georgina Cambell and off course Brenda Costigan - whose recipe in the Sunday Independent a few months ago sparked off the idea in my mind, only I failed to find the recipe I had so carefully cut out.

French husband had to do the rounds of several butchers today in his quest to get a is definitely a cows tail but I would not swear to it being an oxes! He was also gives an a bone marrow to add taste, though the butchers were confused as to why anyone would want to vook this dish given the current Parisien heat wave - relatively speaking for this time of year.

Well most of the recipes had pretty much the same ingredients, oxtail, butter, onions, carrots, more butter but Nigel Slater's was the only one to include a bottle of red wine, I am sure this was not around in my grannies fact I can't ever say I saw Lizzy with a bottle of bold strong Rioja in hand, although I am sure she would have been one to double the quantity of butter (of course the real stuff made by herself) in oxtail stew - but in my heart and soul I felt that the bottle of wine would give a modern touch to an old recipe and make it more Frenchie friendly)!

The proof is in the pudding or the stew as they say and currently it has another 2 hours in the oven before going in the fridge overnight and being reheated tomorrow. Will let you know if it passes the taste test. It goes without saying that I also doubled up the butter quantities - Georgina Cambell style - Granny would be proud!

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